The Salt Creek Rural Park District, located directly northwest of Chicago, was founded on August 4, 1956 under the direction of the concerned citizens of the Arlington Crest Civic Association and with the cooperation of the Arlington Race Track. Necessary to form the Park District were the disannexation of the Arlington Park Race Track from the Palatine Rural Park District and the approval of the voters in the Arlington Crest Subdivision.
The first official meeting of the Board of Commissioners was held on August 11, 1956 with President Johannes A. K. Stenzel and Commissioners Robert Nordstrom, George Strum, Kenneth Goodpasture, and Joseph Thome. This meeting approved the first appropriation ordinance for $1,000.00 to cover operating expenses for the fiscal year 1957-1958.
The South Park area was annexed on November 24, 1956 with Board approval of an annexation petition submitted by the legal voters of that area.
In 1967 negotiations were initiated with Winston Builders to procure park property in the area known as Winston Unit #6. Title of the resulting North Park (now known as Grealish Park) was not received until 1968.
The Board purchased the property now known as Rose Park in three separate transactions from March 7, 1960 through August 19, 1961, totaling $6,740.86.
On December 1, 1961 a bond issue of $80,000.00 was approved by the voters for future development. This money was used for the Rose Park field house, the purchase of South Park and the development of playgrounds at each location.
Employment of a full-time Park Director in 1966 was curtailed in 1967 for lack of funds. Better funding through taxation and donations has allowed the District to move from a part-time to a full-time Director.
In 1977 the Park District entered into an intergovernmental agreement with the Soil Conservation Service, Water Reclamation District, and the Village of Palatine to develop 95 acres for flood control and recreation. After years of designing and negotiating, the development of flood control and recreational facilities started construction in 1985. In 1987 Twin Lakes Recreation Area opened its doors.
Also in 1985, in order to handle the increase in programs, staff members and administrative duties, Rose Park needed to be expanded. A larger maintenance facility was also constructed on the northwest corner of Twin Lakes Recreation Area in the early portion of that same year to house the growing maintenance department and to allow for needed storage.
In 1989 at a cost of $56,000.00, the Board was able to purchase a small parcel of land adjoining the northern border of Rose Park, enabling the Park District to construct a picnic pavilion and passive recreation area.
The Salt Creek Lane property was added in June of 1997, with the assistance of the Corporation for Open Lands. The 14-acre site, one of the last remaining open parcels within the Park District’s boundaries, is located on Salt Creek Lane in Arlington Heights.
Due to the steadily increasing popularity of the Twin Lakes Recreation Area, the Board of Commissioners decided to improve the service by expanding the facility to better serve the public. Renovation began in November 2001.
Our newest property, Salt Creek Sports Center, formerly Hat Trick Hockey, was purchased in October of 2004 and is located on Consumers Avenue. The Sports Center runs many activities such as hockey, soccer, basketball, party rentals and dryland training. The name and logo officially changed in October of 2010.
Much is owed to the organizers, early commissioners, staff, and residents of this district for their foresight and diligent efforts. It behooves all future commissioners to carry on this progress in looking to, and providing for, future recreational needs.
The District is located within the western city limits of the Village of Arlington Heights (Arlington Park Race Track), the southeastern part of Palatine, and the north central part of the City of Rolling Meadows and currently serves approximately 6,500 residents.
Although a small Park District in terms of area, residents, and facilities, creative leadership has resulted in an extraordinarily well-rounded recreation program for the residents of the area. The excellent utilization of private recreation facilities and cooperation with the Arlington Heights, Palatine and Rolling Meadows Park Districts have helped the district augment its facilities and extended the Park District’s capability far beyond normal programming, much to the benefit of the residents.